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Old 25 Sep 2020, 06:39 (Ref:4006111)   #1
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Russian Grand Prix 2020: Grand Prix Weekend Thread - Round 10

The first Russian Grand Prix was held in 1913 in Saint Petersburg, won by Russian driver Georgy Suvorin in a Benz, coming home nearly three minutes clear of his compatriot Ivan Ivanov in a green Russo-Balt, dubbed the 'Russian Cucumber'. The following year, in the same city, the Benz of German Willy Scholl took victory.

With the event not held again until 2014, there were various proposals for a race. In 1983, a Grand Prix of the Soviet Union was included on the provisional calendar, due to be run in Moscow. A Hermann Tilke-designed Moscow Raceway, opened in 2012, was never used for a Grand Prix, but in 2010, the Sochi race was announced, hosting its first event in 2014. All too often, Olympic facilities are not exploited to their maximum after the fortnight’s festival of sport has vanished. In constructing the circuit in the middle of the Olympic park, the organisers have at least created a sports-centred area.

Winding its way around the facilities, Sochi is not exactly a street track in the traditional sense, smooth and not as tight as some. It’s almost a kilometre longer than Singapore's Marina Bay circuit, for instance, but the Sochi Autodrom throws up a quicker lap time.

At the end of the start-finish straight, drivers go into the gentle right-hand kink of Turn 1 before a tighter right at Turn 2, at which point the track almost immediately arcs left through the very long Turn 3. They spend around six seconds in this corner, at about 280kph before quickly switching right through the 90 degree Turn 4.

A short straight follows which is punctuated by another 90 right at 5, before a gentle kink at Turn 6. They exit the next right-hander at around 160kph before then going through the double corner of 8 and 9. After another right-hander, they enter Sector 2 and a long straight, Turn 11 being the slight right-hand bend (DRS Activation Zone 2 is here) before braking at around 330kph while taking a tiny left-hand kink at Turn 12, which switches right and approaches the slower Sector 3.

A left-hand curve at Turn 14 is followed by a slow left-hander at 15 and three slow right-handers at 16, 17 and 18, the entries of which you have to attack, all of which brings the drivers into DRS Activation Zone 1 and the start-finish straight.

Only Mercedes have won here. In the augural event at Sochi, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg came first and second, the winner leading every lap, while future Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas completed the podium, his fifth visit that year. Rosberg had flat-spotted his front tyres on Lap 1 at Turn 2, attempting to pass Hamilton, and he had to pit for harder tyres and work his way through the field.

The following year, Carlos Sainz had a big crash in practice, but was okay to start the race. Sergio Pérez was in 3rd, but lost the place on the final lap, only to reclaim it when Kimi Räikkönen and Bottas collided. Hamilton won from Sebastian Vettel, while pole man Rosberg had already gone out early doors with throttle problems.

In 2016, it was another one-two for Mercedes, as the event moved from Autumn to Spring, with Rosberg ahead of Hamilton. Vettel was taken out by Russian Daniil Kvyat after he came at him like a "torpedo", in the Ferrari driver's words. It was to be Kvyat's final race with Red Bull before returning to Toro Rosso. Rosberg won from Hamilton again.

The next year, Bottas took his first ever win from the Ferraris of Vettel and Räikkonen, passing both of them by Turn 2, while in 2018 and 2019, Hamillton won from Bottas on both occasions.

This year, the championship leader arrives on the brink of equalling Michael Schumacher's extraordinary record of 91 Grand Prix wins.



Circuit length: 5.848km
Number of laps: 53
Race distance: 309.745km
Race Lap Record: 1:35.761 (2019 – Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes)
Dry weather tyre compounds: C3, C4 & C5

First Russian Grand Prix: 1913
First Grand Prix at this circuit: 2014



Join the fun in the Predictions Contest and Fantasy F1:

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Old 25 Sep 2020, 08:39 (Ref:4006122)   #2
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djinvicta has a real shot at the podium!djinvicta has a real shot at the podium!djinvicta has a real shot at the podium!djinvicta has a real shot at the podium!
As ever, great intro BR, cheers..
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Old 25 Sep 2020, 10:10 (Ref:4006132)   #3
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S griffin has a real shot at the championship!S griffin has a real shot at the championship!S griffin has a real shot at the championship!S griffin has a real shot at the championship!S griffin has a real shot at the championship!S griffin has a real shot at the championship!
Thanks for the intro BR. Listening to FP1. Already been quite a few incidents
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Old 25 Sep 2020, 10:50 (Ref:4006146)   #4
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Thanks. There isn't a big history to go on with this one!
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Old 25 Sep 2020, 12:34 (Ref:4006188)   #5
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Thanks. There isn't a big history to go on with this one!

At least there was the 1913-14 GPs to mention
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Old 25 Sep 2020, 12:56 (Ref:4006195)   #6
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Ta for the intro BR.

Don't forget the "very brave Russian" (copyright one Sebastian Vettel) marshal who almost got flattened in 2018! They didn't do that again
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Old 25 Sep 2020, 13:16 (Ref:4006202)   #7
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Russian Grand Prix 2020: Grand Prix Weekend Thread - Round 10

I don’t remember that marshal incident, what happened there?
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Old 25 Sep 2020, 15:00 (Ref:4006221)   #8
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In the curve around T3, one of the Toro Rosso cars had dropped a rear wing endplate. Someone went out to get it, while Vettel was approaching...
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Old 25 Sep 2020, 23:42 (Ref:4006276)   #9
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Great intro BR - has inspired me to go searching for "the Russian cucumber" but I'm not finding anything relevant to motor racing!

Yeah, I remember the "brave russian" - could have been very nasty that one, glad old mate wasn't hurt.
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Old 26 Sep 2020, 11:46 (Ref:4006349)   #10
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Excellent intro as ever. I expect it will be another Hamilton/Mercedes romp but even if he doesn't equal Schumi's record tomorrow, there are another 7 GPs to go.
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Old 26 Sep 2020, 13:13 (Ref:4006364)   #11
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Great intro as usual, hoping this race will throw up some interesting racing and not a Mercedes Sunday drive with everyone else competing for third.
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Old 26 Sep 2020, 13:16 (Ref:4006366)   #12
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in Soviet Russia, Sochi attendance is higher during covid!
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Old 26 Sep 2020, 13:38 (Ref:4006372)   #13
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Red flag...ham gets all the luck.
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Old 26 Sep 2020, 13:42 (Ref:4006374)   #14
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Ooh, now this is going to be very interesting indeed.

Who was it kept mentioning that horseshoe? I think the horse wearing it just kicked Hamilton, after hoofing Vettel.
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Old 26 Sep 2020, 13:46 (Ref:4006377)   #15
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Hamilton on a new set of softs for the 2m15s race to get a lap started... this is going to be fun!
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